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mcatlin

New BKA

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Hello- I had a RBK last week following 17 years and many surgeries for a broken ankle. I am very excited for the future. I am fairly active and work as a Fireman in the Seattle area. I am having cramping that feels like it is in my arch and toe areas. Is this the phantom pains? How long till it calms down a little? And any info on rehab timelines would be helpful. I know everyone is different, but would like to know what I can expect generally.

Thank you

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Welcome Mcatlin!

Sounds like a little nerve action going on with the cramping type feeling. Usually the sharp jolts are the ones that make you go "yeowie!" :biggrin:

Rehab time works as fast as your body will allow you to go. Have you worked with a prosthetist yet? That's a key component to the healing. They will be able to get you going and work within your parameters. Have you thought of what type of socket and foot your going with. There are lots of people out here to help and give advice and reviews of all sorts of products.

Keep asking questions and again welcome!

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You'll be visited by different phantoms over the next few months. Those you are describing are minor phantom pains (cramps in non-existent foot). You might also experience the jolts and zingers where the pain starts in the foot and shoots up the leg. These are generally very intense, but short lived. They get your attention, even in sleep, but last only a few seconds each. They can come in a succession of many though. There are also the vices where your foot is being pinched like in a vice. Point of impact where it hurts in the area of the initial injury. Various others, but equally as irritating. Don't confuse these with the phantom sensations. These are good feelings. You can still wiggle your toes, move your ankle, etc. These come in handy when you start using a prosthetic. These tell your brain that a foot is still down there. There isn't much you can do about any of the above. There are some really strong drugs for those who suffer long-term excruciating phantoms, but I don't suggest them unless they become that bad. Hot baths, soft bumping on the end of the stump, massaging the sciatic nerve and other methods are what I used. An amputee told me that mine would go away when I starting using a fake leg and they did. I'm still visited by the zingers when I've been a little rough with Stumpy, but not often. I had some phantoms a month or so ago that kept me awake, but this was caused from an infection in Stumpy. Once I started the antibiotics, the phantoms went away.

Since your amputation was elective, like mine, you'll probably be fitted for a leg in about 5-6 weeks providing you don't have any complications. The timeline for me was: amputation on April 5, plaster cast removed April 22. First fitting for leg on May 4. Back to work on May 11. Received leg on May 20. Walked unaided on May 24 and haven't looked back. I'm getting leg #6 tomorrow.

Being an amputee is expensive and frustrating at times. The first year will be the hardest as you relearn how to do the simplest tasks. It will also be a time to get acquainted with your new body image. Get to know what your leg is telling you and adjust accordingly. You'll pay if you don't. I still get lazy when it comes to adding socks. I almost always pay with an infected hair follicle. Very painful, but thankfully short lived.

I hope this helps you now. Ask more questions as the need arises. We've all been through it. We'll give you a group lesson on amputeeism.

Neal

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Thank you for the input. I have been working with a prothesis and happy with thinks so far. I did find the topic of "pantom pain" farther down and found that to be insightful. Most of my sensations are tollerable with an accational lightning bolt that sit me straight up. I was glad to see your timeline was fairly quick.

Monte

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Hi mcatlin, and welcome to this forum!

I am an AKA but I will assume that your phantom "sensations" are similar to mine. If not then I am sure there are many BKs here who can answer any questions you have.

As for me, I still get those sensations every night when I remove my leg, but only occasionally do I get that sharp jolt of pain you refer to. When I do, as I said in the "Phantom Pain" section, wrapping my stump with a heating pad has helped a lot. So maybe that will work for you too!

Is Monte your nick name? My father, mself and my son have all been called Monte (or Monty) at times during our lives.

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